Why I hooked my kids on Little House on the Prairie

There’s been a lot of sickness in our house lately, and that means the TV has been on more than usual. One of our house rules is that the sickest person gets to choose the show, and sometimes that’s me.

The kids know better than to complain about my choices and, admittedly, I think they’d watch anything just for the sake of watching something. It’s through this system that I’ve gotten to expose them to some obscure favourites, and sometimes they end up really liking something new.

They were both skeptical when I first turned on an episode of Little House on the Prairie. The colours were dull and the picture was kind of grainy, compared to the crispness of the new HD shows they watch. But all it took was the river-fording scene — with the wagon being thrashed around on the choppy waters — to pique their interest.

Pioneer dramz.

From there, I kept pointing out the differences in the way the Ingalls family lived. There was no running water! They cooked their food in that fireplace! There were no bathrooms!

(The kids once got confused and called an outhouse an “in-house,” but I refuse to correct them because it’s too cute. So if they ask, the Ingalls family uses an in-house.)

We slowly worked our way through the first season here and there when I was sick (or just tired). It had been years since I’d watched the show, and even then I’d only see a smattering of episodes. (It’s the books I know by heart.)

It made me smile to see how much the kids loved the famous “town party/country party” scenes I remembered from On the Banks of Plum Creek, when mean Nellie Olsen wouldn’t let Laura play with her doll and Laura got even by tricking Nellie into the muddy creek full of leeches …

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene …

So what do you think?

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